How long has GOP-backed and advised Harper been in power now? What happened? Was it tar sand greed?
I think you are on to something. Right-wing extremist oil/energy money has been a potent factor in U.S. politics since the 1940s, witness the John Birch Society founded and run by Fred Koch. Its in-your-face craziness led to it being rejected by the Republican mainstream in the early 1960s, and then marginalized, but this very small group had enormous financial resources, and patience and has built up an enormous infrastructure to push their policies over the years, not just at the national level but in states around the country. It was an odd spectacle when the newly elected Governor Walker of Wisconsin took a call he thought was from Charles Koch and assured that citizen of Kansas that he was on board with his anti-union legislation program; evidently this resident of another state who could not cast a vote for him is Walker's real "constituent".
With the Tea party the John Birch Society in effect took over complete control of the Republican Party.
Just as the OIl Birchers have been taking control of the politics of states they don't live in, they seem to be pushing their politics in Canada too, no doubt with the assistance of much Canadian oil money. Farmers are being threatened with losing their farms in Nebraska so that a pipeline of Canadian tar-oil from tar sands project partly owned by the Koch brothers can get to Koch refineries in Louisiana.
Anyone opposing oil money will certainly get crushed, sooner rather than later.